Reliable limit load estimations for thick walled pressurized cylinders containing defects are required for the assessment of integrity of structures that experience significant plastic deformation prior to failure. Analytical and finite element analyses of limit load in thick walled cylinders containing defects are presented in this paper. FE analyses were conducted to obtain estimates of the limit state of loading for a range of combined loading schemes and loading sequences for open-end and closed-end cylinder. Part through shallow and deep hoop cracks in the cylinder for uniform radial, uniform axial and combined loading were examined. The results suggest that adjustments to the estimates of limit loads obtained from conventional methods reported in literature are needed in order to reflect the role of material response, crack configuration and boundary conditions on the limit loads of defected thick walled pipes and cylinders. These findings are very important and should be noted carefully, especially in the context of treatment of hoop and axial residual stresses in the integrity assessment of pipelines containing part through cracks.

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